This European Steel in Figures 2018 is the European Steel Association’s (EUROFER) European Steel in Figures guide. It shows a sector getting back onto a more stable footing, with employment and production levels stable or rising. Imports stalled slightly in 2017 after years of relentless growth, and the expansion of steel-using sectors continued.
Fresh research, included in this guide, has shown quite the extent of the employment and economic footprint of the European steel sector. Counting direct, indirect and induced employment, we find that there are as many as 2.5 million people that work in and around the industry, equivalent to slightly more than twice the population of Brussels. The multiplier effect of the 320,000 direct jobs in the sector is 7.7 times – an outsize impact.
The Gross Value Added (GVA) of the European steel industry is also upwards of €128 billion if direct, indirect and induced effects are factored in. More specifically, European steel industry GVA per worker is around 11% above the average for the overall EU economy, and some 7% higher than that of the wider EU manufacturing sector. In part, this reflects the fairly capital-intensive nature of the industry, which spends €3.9 billion per year on new machinery and building work. The steel sector’s total value of turnover – sales, in other words – is over €123 billion, six times the industry’s direct GVA, larger than comparable manufacturing industries.
The overall market situation of the steel sector is relatively positive. Apparent consumption was up 1.3% in 2017 to 159 million tonnes of apparent consumption. Indexed steel use in construction was up by 4.8%, in automotive by 3.7%, in mechanical engineering by 6% and by just over 7% in tubes.
Imports of all products, including semi-finished products, accounted for a 22% share of the market, despite an almost 2% fall over the year. Excluding semi-finished, import levels remained level at an all-time record high with exports from the EU continuing the decline that began in 2014. The net trade balance continued to reverse in favour of imports, with the EU a net importer of steel.
All these statistics help give an overview of the European steel industry today. Awareness of the employment, production, demand and trade challenges that face the sector ensure a greater understanding of our strategically important sector. With this in mind, I hope you enjoy using European Steel in Figures 2018.
EUROFER European Steel in Figures 2018 [PDF]